David Beckham finally took the field last night (August 15) as captain of the Los Angeles Galaxy at the club’s Home Depot Center in California. Playing at something approaching full speed for the first time in his new “kit”, the bendy one scored once from a free kick at 20 meters and placed an assist at the feet of linemate Landon Donovan for a second half clincher. The Galaxy advanced, 2-0, to the first ever finals of the brand new SuperLiga tournament featuring MLS and Mexican league clubs.
Beckham’s heroics come just one month into his MLS career and one day after former league star Freddy Adu debuted with Benfica of Portugal. Adu, entering the league as barely a teenager in 2004, had been touted as the star who could bring US soccer some star power and some devoted fans. After helping DC United win MLS Cup in his first season he made clear his intention to play professionally in Europe. He departed Real Salt Lake City, his last MLS club, for Portugal at nearly the exact moment that Beckham arrived from Madrid in July.
MLS has become the most successful professional soccer league in the history of the USA over the eleven years of its existence, but soccer still has yet to achieve the same status here as it does in those countries where it is known as “football”. In the US, “soccer” is associated with moms driving minivans, and co-eds (mostly female) kicking the ball around at private colleges.
If Beckham can change that image, and give the US game the same kind of street-cred that Tiger Woods has given golf, or that John McEnroe gave tennis in the 1980’s, MLS is hoping that fans and advertisers will naturally follow.
Why fight the hand that kneads you?
The mobile phone has been heralded as a great invention, but I automatically frown upon any tool that encourages spousal interaction.
I remember my feeling of angst as my circle of friend embraced the technological breakthrough. Even my old man joined in, and he’s a complete technophobe; he once sold his television because a little fellow in the corner of the screen was making hand signals towards him.
The wife shares my disdain for this evil apparatus. I really felt for her when she realised her fingers were too chunky for the keypad: she wasn’t too upset though, she has the same problem with the landline.
After several years of steadfast resistance, I finally caved. I’m now the proud owner of a phone that can take photos, record video, play music, cook dinner and nip down the offy; the only thing it can’t do is make a telephone call without crackling like a pensioner.
My decision to join the mobile revolution has paid off handsomely as I now have access to ‘Frank TV’. I’m a real Lampard fan; I even subscribe to his popular video hosting website, YouTub.
I’m looking forward to watching Frank strut his considerable stuff Qiu Qiu Online at Anfield on Sunday. Chelsea are an outstanding bet at 2/1 as Liverpool will be without their star performer from last week’s win over the Villa; they’ll really miss young Riley.
Losing Wayne Rooney to a long term injury would normally be catastrophic, but when you have Carlos Tevez waiting in the wings, the blow is considerably softened. Tevez is almost a clone of Rooney, only without the excess fat; although I should congratulate her on landing her own TV show. Carlos is big enough and unquestionably ugly enough to nullify the loss of Rooney and Ronaldo, United must be backed at 4/5 to take the derby day honours.
Jens Lehmann will still be seething after his opening day gaffe. The excitable German couldn’t have looked more like a clown without a pair of giant shoes, a ginger wig and Fergie’s nose. I’m raising a smile to the gargantuan 5/4 for an Arsenal win over Blackburn.
Even though Bolton are pointless after two matches, the wife is convinced that Sammy Lee will stick with the same team for the trip to Fratton Park. I overheard her on the phone to her mother complaining that he’s not big enough to touch the side. Pompey are a great shout at 10/11 to take advantage.
I had to laugh when I heard Lawrie Sanchez accuse Arsenal players of simulation. Baird’s challenge on Hleb was probably the most gratuitous trip since the Tony Blair era. I’m falling over the 5/4 for a Fulham win over the Boro.
Roy Keane has launched an astonishing tirade against footballers’ wives for wielding too much influence. What Roy fails to realise is that modern day relationships are a true partnership, where ideas are exchanged in a frank and open manner until the male gets knocked out. The 11/5 for a Sunderland win over Wigan is particularly tasty.
Tottenham’s transfer policy has left me decidedly perplexed. To spend £16.5m on what should be your 4th choice striker is particularly puzzling, especially when your midfield is in worse shape than Amy Winehouse. Derby have to be backed at 3/1 to take a point from the Lane.
It’s been announced that Joey Barton’s trial for an alleged attack on a former team-mate will commence on October 4th. I’m guessing the six-week delay is to allow the prosecution enough time to catalogue his previous form. I can’t wait to take the evens for a Newcastle win over Villa.
I remember when Craig Bellamy found himself in the dock after a nightclub ruck with a young female reveller. One witness testified that he was so out of control, she struggled to pull him off: we’ve all been there after a few ales. A little punt on the Hammers leaving St Andrews with a point at 9/4 will prove uplifting.
For Steve Coppell, an outbreak of ‘2nd season syndrome’ is the greatest threat to the dressing room since ‘bird flu’, although in the interest of fairness, Bellamy was acquitted. Reading can repel the manger’s fears by taking a point off Everton at 9/4.
If my source is to be believed, Frank Lampard will be the next high profile footballer to be arrested. Senior police officials are considering charging him with possession of an offensive relative. Portsmouth, Fulham, Manchester United and Arsenal form a 15/1 weekend accer that will raise funds for my campaign to free the Chelsea 1½.